Operators and Empty Categories in Japanese

Y. Ishii, 1991

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     This thesis discusses empty operator movement in Japanese, with special reference to relativization and comparative deletion. Major problems discussed in this thesis are outlined in Chapter 1.

     Since Kuno (1973), it has been known that Japanese relativization, unlike English relativization, does not exhibit Subjacency effects. Chapter 2 aruges that this difference between Japanese and English is only apparent: the gap in Subjacency violations in Japanese relative clauses is an empty resumptive pronoun: a last-resort employed when movement is prohibited. On the basis of reconstruction effects, weak crossover effects, and a restriction on the relative head, I argue that Japanese restrictive relative clauses involve movement whenever possible. It is proposed, however, that non-restrictive relative clauses in Japanese are shown to employ the resumptive pronoun strategy alone.

     Chapter 3 discusses comparative deletion in Japanese, which, unlike relativization, exhibits clear Subjacency effects (kikuchi 1989) as does English comparative deletion. However, Japanese comparative deletion has a number of important properties that are not shared by English comparative deletion. It is argued that these language-particular properties of the empty operator in comparative deletion follow from more salient properties of adjectives and quantifiers in these languages.

     Based on important similarities between comparative deletion and numeral quantifier floating in Japanese, it is argued that Japanese comparative deletion involves movement of a floating quantifier. The lack of special morphology for comparatives in Japanese is also shown to play an important role in restricting comparative deletion with adjectives in Japanese. The present analysis has some consequences for English comparatives as well. Subdeletion in English is argued to be a special case of comparative deletion in which the comparative operator is an adverbial unselectively binding the determiner position of noun phrases.

     Chapter 4 discusses the half-relative construction, a unique construction in Japanese which on the surface appears to be a case of relativization, but actually is a special case of comparative deletion. A number of similarities between comparative deletion and half- relatives are discussed. The lack of such a construction in English is shown to follow from the present analysis of comparative deletion of English and Japanese.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION                                             1

     Endnotes to Chapter one                                   6

ON THE NATURE OF GAPS IN RELATIVE CLAUSES                            7

     2.1. Introduction                                        7

         2.1.1. Subjacency and Japanese                               7

         2.1.2. Saito (1985) on PP Topicalization                           10

         2.1.3. PP Relativization: Oka (1988) and Murasugi (1991)                 12

         2.1.4. The Organization of This Chapter                           22

     2.2. Reconstruction Effects in Relative Clauses                           23

         2.1.1. Hoji (1985)                                   24

         2.1.2. Kare-zisin and Reconstruction                        29

         2.1.3. Reconstruction Effects and Binding of Zibun                33

     2.3. Weak Crossover Effects in Relative Clauses                           39

2.4. Relative Clauses with a Quantificational Head                    43

     2.4.1. Chao and Sells (1983)                             44

     2.4.2. Oka (1988)                                   45

2.5. Non-Restrictive Relative Clauses in Japanese                     47

2.6. Resumptive Pronouns as a Last Resort                         61

     2.6.1. Resumptive Pronouns and Scrambling                   63

     2.6.2. Topicalization and Left Dislocation                     67

2.7. Two Types of Apparent Subjacency Violations in Japanese                  74

2.8. Summary                                          81

Endnotes to Chapter Two                                   84

COMPARATIVE DELETION IN JAPANESE                                 91

     3.1. Introduction                                        91

     3.2. Kikuchi (1989) on Comparative Deletion in Japanese                     94

     3.3. Differences between English and Japanese Comparative Deletion             103

     3.4. Quantifier Float and Comparative Deletion                           108

         3.4.1. An Analysis: Comparative Deletion and Indefinites                 108

         3.4.2. A Possible Alternative An ECP Account                    117

     3.5. Comparative Deletion with Adjectives                         124

         3.5.1. An Analysis: The Categorial Status of Comparative Adjectives      124

         3.5.2. Residual Cases                                 134

     3.6. Subdeletion in Japanese and English                          140

         3.6.1. Subdeletion in Japanese                                140

         3.6.2. Subdeletion in English                             143

         3.6.3. Further Arguments for the Abstract Adverb Analysis of Subdeletion   146

         3.6.4. Non-Quantificational More, Motto and Unselective Binding       158

     3.7. Implications of the Floating Quantifier Analysis of Comparative Deletion     171

         3.7.1. Argument/Adjunct Asymmetry in Comparative Deletion              171

         3.7.2. Floating Quantifiers and Secondary Predicates              173

         3.7.3. Parastic Gaps in Comparative Deletion                   188

         3.7.4. Weak Crossover and Comparative Deletion                196

     3.8. Empty Indefinites in Japanese and French En                     200

     3.9. Summary                                          207

     Endnotes to Chapter Three                                  208

HALF-RELATIVES                                             221

     4.1. Introduction                                        221

     4.2. Movement Characteristics of Half-Relatives                          224

     4.3. Quantifier Float and Half-Relatives                               227

     4.4. Empty Indefinites in Half-Relatives                                235

     4.5. Argument/Adjunct Asymmetry                              237

     4.6. Parastic Gaps                                       240

     4.7. On the Non-Existence of Half-Relatives in English                   243

     4.8. Concluding Remarks                                   244

     Endnotes to Chapter Four                                   250

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                              254